I heard an interview with Arthur Haines who seems to have some interesting ideas on ancestral health. One struck me and I figured I would share. When looking at our ancestors, they ate a great deal more plant varieties than we do. He pointed out that when thinking about variety we should be looking at “families” of vegetables as a criteria.
Cruciferous vegetables are one family which includes kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussel sprouts. While they vary in nutrient density, the main nutrients are of the same class. Arthur Haines suggests that we should be making sure we include other classes of greens.
Another class is the lettuce family – most of the lettuces like romaine, iceberg, and bibb are also of the same family.
Here are some other greens to include that don’t share the above families: purslane, beet greens, chard, or spinach.
The key point here is while each family is fabulous for you, from an ancestral health perspective, you are probably better off sampling from different families of plants. This is an idea that makes a lot of sense to me.